1st Annual iDCPS Conference

Categories: Dinwiddie County | 2017

Dinwiddie County Public Schools held its 1st Annual iDCPS Conference on August 25-26, 2016, at Dinwiddie High School for all employees.  The theme was “What Starts Here Changes the World.”  The 5 conference strands of sessions (iSuccess, iEngagement, iEfficacy, iExcellence, & iCommunity) were based on innovation, thinking, and incorporated the major areas of the Division Strategic Plan.  The conference began with an Opening Session to kick start the 120 interactive workshops and sessions, which would take place over the course of both days.  During the Closing Session, the “20 to Watch” award winners were recognized.     The 71 presenters for the conference included teachers, secretaries, administrators, school board members, paraprofessionals, transportation drivers, technology, instructional technology resource teachers, nurses, guidance counselors, community agencies, and outside vendors.    A cross functional Conference Planning Team worked hard to make this conference a success through frequent planning sessions and strategic coordinated efforts.

Contact

Christie Clarke
Director of Professional Development & Instructional Technology
cclarke@dcpsnet.org
804-469-4190


3E Project: Engaged and Energized Education

Categories: Orange County | 2017

Orange County Public Schools is excited about a new program that promotes professional development and student achievement as a result pf collaboration and innovative teaching. The 3E Project was designed to transform classrooms, making them dynamic learning spaces that engage and energize students.  Teachers, who were selected through an application process, support one another in implementing educational experiences that engage students in active learning, problem or project-based learning. Teachers collaborate through Google Community and meet quarterly to discuss practices.  The Google Community allows teachers to post their students' work and reflect on their experiences. The program will continue to grow as 3E teachers share what they have learned with their colleagues. 

Contact

Jessica Sarver
STEM Coordinator
jessicasarver@ocss-va.org
5406614550


Alternate Route to Licensure in Goochland Schools

Categories: Goochland County | 2017

Alternate Route to Licensure in Goochland Schools  The path to full licensure for provisionally licensed teachers can be long, time-intensive, and expensive. Goochland County Public Schools created a seminar experience for four CTE teachers and submitted a proposal to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to create an alternative path to licensure.   Once the plan was approved, part one of the plan was implemented in April, and the four teachers met with the instructional team to begin the field practica, professional reading, direct instruction, and collaborative work sessions.   Part two of the program was conducted for five days in June where the teachers engaged in face-to-face instruction and discussions led by experts from within our school system.   The program provided training in human growth and development, curriculum and instruction, instructional design based on data, classroom management, and foundations of education and reading.   The program was an absolute success! 

Contact

Dr. Stephen Geyer
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction 
sgeyer@glnd.k12.vca.us
804-556-5609


American Ninja Warrior - Project Based Learning, Engineering Design Process

Categories: Fairfax County | 2017

First graders at Daniels Run Elementary participated in Project Based Learning while exploring shapes in their environment (MTH.G1.13). The driving question was: How can you, as a designer, create a new and innovative obstacle for the upcoming season of American Ninja Warrior? Using the Project Based Learning framework and the Engineering Design Process, students created their own obstacle designs and later made scale models of their idea. Teaming up with Matt Iseman, the American Ninja Warrior host, Mia Leone, the Innovation Space Teacher, and Dr. Alan Friedman, a retired engineer volunteer, we helped the students learn how shapes are used in their environment in new, sophisticated ways. Students used critical thinking skills to apply their knowledge to real world tasks. Please watch our segment titled Daniels Run Elementary – Project Based Learning to see more! http://fairfax.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=11&clip_id=1695

Contact

Victoria Novak
1st grade teacher
vgnovak@fcps.edu
703-279-8476


AMPed UP!

Categories: Winchester City | 2017

AMPed Up! (Accelerated Math Pathways for Underrepresented Potential) is a program to address disproportionality in the Winchester Public Schools’ advanced mathematics courses. When potential root causes were identified they included: K-4 minority students have lower math achievement data, tend to lack aspirational mindset of advanced math coursework, and families tend to lack social capital to navigate the academic pathways.  WPS pursued a strategy that would close curriculum gaps, provide instructional scaffolding, provide aspirational supports, and provide family connections to advanced academic pathways for 4th - 12th grade. Our goal is that by August 2020, Algebra I enrollment in 8th grade will be proportional to demographics of WPS.  AMPed Up! includes an afterschool STEM program for selected 4th graders. During the summer students attend an academy with hands on learning and math content.  During each subsequent summer and school year, the cohort will continue to receive instructional support and aspirational coaching. 

Contact

Brian S. Wray
Director of Secondary Instruction
wrayb@wps.k12.va.us
540-686-0120


An Achievable Dream Academy at Highland Springs Elementary School

Categories: Henrico County | 2017

In January 2017, the Henrico School Board approved a unique public/private partnership with An Achievable Dream. The nonprofit will bring its nationally recognized program to Highland Springs Elementary School for 2017-18.  Under the agreement, HCPS will provide basic curricula and staffing, student services, transportation, food service and maintenance. An Achievable Dream will operate programs to create a unique learning environment. The staff of the new Achievable Dream Academy will use the “SAME” curriculum (Social, Academic and Moral Education) along with state-of-the-art technology and extensive extracurricular and cultural activities. Students learn life skills, ethics, etiquette, conflict resolution and healthy living. They also learn financial know-how and how to “speak green,” or use the language of business.  The program also operates in public schools in Newport News and Virginia Beach and is dedicated to the idea that college and successful careers are achievable for everyone. Program graduates include lawyers, teachers and engineers.

Contact

Andy Jenks
Director, communications and public relations
ajenks@henrico.k12.va.us
804-652-3724


Aquaponics:  Sustainable Agriculture

Categories: Cumberland County | 2017

CUCPS began an aquaponics program as part of the horticulture program. Aquaponics, which is a combination of aquaculture and hydroponic technology, creates a system to grow both fish and plants. Fish tanks are stocked with fish, which produce fertilizer used by the plants, and, in turn, the plants clean the water for the fish. While the program has the main goal of providing instruction in modern agricultural systems that might lead to careers, research has indicated that aquaponics can be a valuable educational tool (Hart, 2013). Learning opportunities in aquaponics teach concepts of business management, biology, chemistry, physics, math, and technology (Hart, Webb, & Danylchuk, 2013). An excellent example of science lessons illustrated through aquaponics would include the life cycle of plants and fish. Some studies have indicated that students working with aquaponics systems score higher in math and science because students are more motivated (Aquaponics USA, n.d.).

Contact

Mrs. Lindsay Talbott
Teacher
ltalbott@cucps.k12.va.us
804-492-4212


Arts & Letters Pathway

Categories: Albemarle County | 2017

Recognizing the evolution of the creative process in instruction from Science, Engineering and Math (STEM) to include the arts (STEAM), Albemarle High School has established an Arts & Letters Pathway.  The program offers students 14 different areas of concentration in the visual, creative and performing arts.  Students suggest additions to the curriculum, for example, a music theory course and are linked with professional artists and organizations in the community, who serve as mentors, arrange job-shadowing and provide internships to align student interests with authentic learning opportunities outside the classroom.  Internships can range from creativity and performance to the management and financing of resources, facilities and businesses.  In their senior year, students present a capstone project as evidence of the maturity of their skills, from one-person art shows to original films to theater productions that they write, direct and perform.  Recognition of their achievements becomes part of their college application transcript.  

Contact:

Jennifer Morris
jmorris@l12albemarle.org
Director, Arts & Letters Pathway
434-975-9300


Be a Buddy

Categories: Henry County | 2017

Henry County Public Schools has been working to encourage school community members to Be a Buddy to students in need of positive adult role models. Local Sheriff’s deputies and Public Safety officials have responded in a large way! Every day of the week, there are deputies and EMTs in elementary, middle and high schools in the division. You can find them having lunch, reading, and practicing math skills with small groups of students. This partnership is benefitting the students as they enhance their social and academic skills, but is also proving to benefit the PSOs as they interact with families in the community. 

Contact

Monica Hatchett
Director of Communications & Organizational Learning
mhatchet@henry.k12.va.us
276-634-4766


BetterLesson’s Personalized PD

Categories: Manassas City | 2017

In partnership with Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS), Better Lesson’s PersonalizedPD has provided 1:1 personalized coaching support in blended learning for MCPS teachers and instructional technology coaches at seven schools across the district. Through ongoing, tailored support for each teacher, participants have been empowered to innovate their instructional practice strategically and personalize learning for their students. PersonalizedPD begins with an in-person “Design Studio” where teachers collaborate with a team of BetterLesson coaches to think deeply about the needs of their students and design a plan to address these challenges through the strategic use of educational technologies along with proven human-to-human teaching strategies. After attending the Design Studio and developing a vision for their classrooms, teachers continue collaborating with a personal coach every other week for the remainder of the school year as they implement new teaching strategies and work toward turning their classroom vision and increased student achievement into reality. 

Contact

Ashley Cramp
Director of Instruction
acramp@mcpsva.org
571-377-6062


Books To The Bus Project

Categories: Dinwiddie County | 2017

The Title I team in Dinwiddie County began the "Books On The Bus" project the summer of 2016. This project focused on delivering books throughout the summer to students. The team worked with transportation to target areas of highest need. Once this was determined, teachers, principals, and and central office staff boarded buses and went throughout the county to put books and donated school supplies into the hands of students. While at each stop, staff read to students and worked with families to share the importance of summer reading. This program evolved into the "Books To The Bus" project once school began fall of 2016. Teachers board buses on a rotating basis each 9 weeks to put books into the hands of our young students and share "read on your ride" fun.  As this program grows, we aspire to have hot spots and electronic reading devices that we can rotate throughout the county in the near future. 

Contact

Paige Hannon
phannon@dcpsnet.org
8048982206


Business Roundtable

Categories: Isle of Wight County | 2017

sle of Wight County Schools hosted a Business Roundtable with the goal of initiating discussions between business leaders and teachers about the highly skilled jobs that exist within the community.During the program, groups of teachers, counselors, administrators held table-top discussions with business leaders.  The business representatives elaborated on specific skills needed for positions within their companies.  They also shared the necessary academics and credentials required by applicants to obtain a job at their businesses, as well as the importance of soft skills.  Discussion from educators focused on ways they can better prepare students for employment in the areas highlighted by the business.  Through the roundtable, the division developed and strengthened the partnership between schools and the business community.  Liebherr has pledged equipment to start the welding program and Smithfield Foods committed $3,000,000 to facilities to better prepare students to be college, career and life ready.  

Contact

Mr. Mike Lombardo
Executive Director of Innovative Learning
mlombardo@iwcs.k12.va.us
757-357-4393


C1 (Capital One) Coders

Categories: Richmond City | 2017

Originally launched at two schools in five communities in the fall of 2014, the C1 Coders program is now in 35 different schools across the country including Franklin Military Academy, Lucille Brown Middle School, and Albert Hill Middle School in Richmond Public Schools.  It is a modified version is used in countless one-day and week-long events. The objective of the program is simple: expose middle school students to technology by partnering with schools and community leaders to foster a focus in software engineering.  More than 1,000 Capital One associates have volunteered as instructors and mentors to share their passion for technology and to lend a hand in developing future software engineers. “Capital One sends mentors into the classrooms to work with the students hands-on and really give them the exposure to someone who is in a software engineering career. The program is a really great way to get them exposed at such an early age so that as they start high school and move into college, they’ll have a familiarity with software engineering,” said Matthew McCurdy, a Software Engineer at Capital One.

Contact

Sandra Wheeler
Community Partnerships Coordinator
swheeler@rvaschools.net
804.819.4382


Career and Technical Education Program Redesign

Categories: Isle of Wight County | 2017

Isle of Wight County Schools conducted a review of the division’s Career and Technical Education program and determined a need for a significant redesign to better prepare students for college, careers life after high school.  Emphasis was placed on courses that satisfied career pathways and provided opportunities for industry certifications in demand by employers. Feedback from the business community indicated a shortage of high school graduates who were capable of collaborating on a team with little supervision, skilled at brainstorming for conflict resolution, adept at communicating effectively, and able to display a strong work ethic.  The program incorporates these skills into hands-on, real-world experiences, both in and out of the classroom. As part of the restructuring, new courses were implemented in the Fall of 2016 in the career cluster areas of agriculture, culinary arts, manufacturing, nursing and engineering.  Additional courses will be phased in during the 2017-18 school year.

Contact

Mr. Mike Lombardo
Executive Director of Innovative Learning
mlombardo@iwcs.k12.va.us
757-357-4393


CHROME Lego WeDo Challenge

Categories: Portsmouth City | 2017

Lego WeDo Summer The Portsmouth Public School Division provides coding and engineering experiences for 72 students in rising grade 4.  Students conduct an ethology (animal behavior) study of animals in the Okavango Delta at the Virginia Zoo.  They use information gathered from their observations to program robots by using Lego WeDo and to build automated electronic dioramas by using SCRATCH.  STARBASE Victory, Inc., is our funding partner. CHROME Lego WeDo Challenge The Portsmouth Public School Division partners with CHROME (Cooperating Hampton Roads Organization for Minorities in Engineering) at Norfolk State University to offer an annual elementary robotics challenge.  LEGO WeDo is a robotics hardware and software platform specifically designed for elementary students.  Approximately 260 students in grades 5 and 6 enrolled at 13 elementary schools design and build robots that follow a challenge based on the four C’s connect to a story, construct a model, contemplate its function, and continue improving its design.  CHROME is our community partner.

Contact

Laura J. Nelson 
Coordinator Science Education
laura.nelson@pps.k12.va.us
7573938535


Citizen Science As Contexts to Teach High School Biology

Categories: Falls Church City | 2017

Students at George Mason High School (Falls Church, VA) raise brook trout for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, monitor two local streams for E. coli for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, remove invasive plant species on the Appalachian Trail for the US National Park Service, and examine the effectiveness of using radishes to relieve urban soil compaction for the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. These projects permit students to learn science by doing science, not only for themselves, but for the benefit of natural resource personnel. Work they perform help VA natural resource staff manage the commonwealth's natural resources. The experiences provide meaningful contexts to help meet Virginia's SOLs in Biology and a MWEE. 

Contact

Dr. Peter M. Mecca
Biology Teacher
meccap@fccps.org
7032095500


Co-Teaching Training Teams

Categories: Mathews County | 2017

Mathematics co-teachers Melissa Seidl, Special Education teacher, and Susan Sanderson, General Education teacher, have spear-headed a co-teaching training initiative in MCPS schools.  Together with co-teaching teams from the Lee-Jackson Elementary School and Thomas Hunter Middle School, the co-teacher leaders are modeling co-teaching methods to other co-teaching partners within their respective schools.  Training sessions are held throughout the school year and are based on Marilyn Friend’s literature as well as training received from the Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) at Old Dominion University and Radford University.  Although informing others on the how and why to co-teaching is part of the training, the main purpose within each session is to provide the co-teachers with the tools for effective co-teaching by starting a dialogue between the team teachers regarding how to incorporate what they learned into their classroom.

Contact

Melissa Seidl
Special Education Teacher, Mathews High School
mseidl@mathews.k12.va.us
804-725-3702


College and Career Readiness Month

Categories: Chesterfield County | 2017

What will I be when I grow up? Helping 59,000 students answer that question is the driving force behind Chesterfield County Public Schools’ College and Career Readiness initiative.  4,000-plus teachers turn back the clock to their college days — decorating classroom doors and bulletin boards in their college’s colors with information about their alma mater, telling stories about their favorite classes and donning their old college sweatshirt. Two college fairs end the month for students. Business partners visit to share how school experiences prepared them for their jobs, and quicker than you can say “graduation” students start daydreaming about their futures. The celebrations become even more relevant when students dress up like their future careers and parade through school.  This is the sixth year CCPS designated time to purposefully help students envision their futures, while making connections and understanding how knowledge learned in grades K-12 relate to their potential careers. 

Contact

Bryan Carr
Instructional Specialist, School Counseling
bryan_carr@ccpsnet.net
804.748.1405


College Boot Camp

Categories: King George County | 2017

College Application Boot Camp at King George High School offers rising seniors assistance with completing college applications, writing essays and personal statements, financial aid preparation, and planning for scholarship application submissions. This innovative program has been implemented in King George County for five years under the leadership of Robin Mitchell. Essay writing guidance is offered by an English teacher and school counselors. In conjunction with Boot Camp, College Application Boot Camp for Parents gives parents the opportunity to gain insights and support for the entire college application and financial aid process. Over 300 seniors and 150 parents have benefitted from this program.  One of the greatest academic benefits is that students can tackle these time-consuming tasks prior to the start of the school year for a less stressful senior year.  Seniors are better able to focus on classwork because the applications and essays are complete or nearly complete.

Contact

Robin Mitchell
Director of School Counseling
rmitchell@kgcs.k12.va.us
540-775-3535 ext. 3206


Connection with CodeVA

Categories: Petersburg City | 2017

CodeVA is making a difference in Petersburg schools. Its mission to bring computer science education to Virginia kids meshes with Superintendent Marcus Newsome’s commitment to engaging instruction for all students. In these financially challenging times, the free training and laptops that CodeVA provides are especially welcome. This partnership began in October 2016: • For the first time, every school participated in Hour of Code, an international event that engages students in computer science. • 30 teachers participated in a workshop to learn to incorporate coding into instruction. Each teacher received a free laptop and the three schools represented each received a classroom set of laptops. The laptops are donated by Comcast and Altria to CodeVA, which refurbishes them. • Training more teachers, expanding to the middle school and high school and working to make sure Petersburg schools are prepared for Virginia’s upcoming computer science SOLs are in the works for this vibrant partnership.

Contact

Dr. Cyndee Blount
Chief Academic Officer
cyblount@petersburg.k12.va.us
804-862-7040


Culturally Responsive Teaching

Categories: Albemarle County | 2017

Over 10 years, student enrollment in Albemarle County Public Schools is up by eight percent overall but 37 percent for English language learners.  Students represent 94 birth countries and 75 languages are spoken in their homes.  To meet the learning opportunity gaps that have multiplied from this diversity, the division launched a new program to instill culturally responsive teaching throughout the division.  Research-based and delivered through professional development sessions and coaching, this program provides teachers with targeted strategies and individualized instructional practices focusing on the widely different ways in which students and their families learn and process information and value and relate to their peers and teachers.  Surveys show stronger student and parent engagement levels and test scores.  To embed these practices,  a certification program credentials teachers who demonstrate their competence through portfolios and presentations.  The school division is the first in Virginia to certify teachers in this practice.

Contact

Dr. Bernard Hairston
Executive Director, Community Engagement
hairston@k12albemarle.org
434-293-2088


Curriculum and Innovation Teacher Program

Categories: Goochland County | 2017

We offered four teachers extended contracts to help us develop high-quality, project-based learning experiences for students in grades 3-8 so that their peer teachers could better benefit from having first-class exemplars of PBL that focused on deeper learning.  Deeper learning has been the focus behind our internationally-recognized 1:1 implementation with iPads in grades 3-8. Research has consistently demonstrated that an infusion of new technology without modifications to pedagogy will not deliver increases in student achievement.  By providing teachers a variety of PBL experiences aligned to our own Virginia SOL and the eight standards for high quality project-based learning by the Buck Institute, in combination with professional development and coaching, the work undertaken first in the summer with these teachers is now bringing deeper learning experiences to our students in the elementary and middle-school grades.

Contact

John Hendron, Ed.D.
Director of Innovation & Strategy
jhendron@glnd.k12.va.us
8045565623


Cyber Literacy and Physics

Categories: Shenandoah County | 2017

  Unlocking future student success is now inextricably linked to the cyber world.  Cyber related jobs have grown exponentially in the past few years.  Preparing our students to be globally competitive in that high demand job market is essential.   At Strasburg High School, we have taken on that challenge by introducing cyber concepts into the regular classroom environment, in a cross-curricular, project driven class.  Students learn independently and cooperatively using the engineering design process.  The students see how concepts of physics, robotics, and programming work in real-life applications.   Student learning is not best defined by scores on a test, it is best defined by student responses such as  ".... the class provided [me with] “hands-on” experiences that have shaped my future and I plan to continue to learn about these skills.”  Several students in the class have shared that they are now considering a career in the cyber-related technology field. 

Contact

Matt Britton 
Teacher
mtbritton@shenandoah.k12.va.us
(540) 465-5195


Cyber Security Course

Categories: Norton City | 2017

With the ever growing demand for individuals trained in Cyber Security, we have implemented a program to offere introductory Computer Science courses to our students.  We presented our first course this semester, Introduction to Networking, and the response has been very optimistic.  The skills required to secure a network must begin by first educating students about how networks are created, installed and maintained.  Our goal is to follow this course with a course in cyber ethics and eventually a course in Network Security.  The addition of this curriculum has sparked a renewed interest in the computer field for many of our students.  While this course has only been available a short time, the students enrolled are engaged and exhibit genuine enthusiasm for the material.

Contact

Kelli Hall
CTE Teacher
khall@nortoncityschools.org
276-679-2554


Elementary Coding Classes

Categories: Isle of Wight County | 2017

The Isle of Wight County Schools’ Elementary Coding program introduces K-6 students to a wide variety of coding languages and applications.  Students participate in weekly coding classes as part of the elementary resource schedule.  Coding experiences in the primary grades include the use of "unplugged" activities such as songs and games to give younger students concrete experiences to help explain abstract coding concepts.  All elementary students use online tutorials to solve coding "puzzles" and develop a problem-solving mindset for creating and debugging their programs. The coding and programming courses challenge students think critically as they problem solve, analyze data and apply logic. These skills are also critical for successfully solving complex math problems. Students also apply their coding knowledge in language arts projects that include storytelling and animations.  Other project-based learning topics in coding include game design and robotics.

Contact

Mr. Mike Lombardo
Executive Director of Innovative Learning
mlombardo@iwcs.k12.va.us
757-357-4393


Elementary STEM / Children’s Engineering

Categories: Page County | 2017

The school environment has seen a big change over the years from hands-on learning to seatwork and preparing for the SOL tests.  Students spend their days at desks completing worksheets and taking tests.  Many students are being pushed to do things that are developmentally inappropriate.  To change this problem, Page County Schools hired a Division-Wide Elementary STEM teacher.  Miss Davis has created a STEM Lab at each of the 4 elementary schools filled with tools, supplies, and challenges.  Each month, students in grades preschool through 5th are given the opportunity to visit their STEM Lab and desgin, create, and build.  In the past, only gifted students were given these types of challenges.  What we discovered is that ALL students benefit from hands-on, engineering projects.  These challenges teach things that are relevant to their lives, promote teamwork and compromise, and show students how to accept and learn from failure.

Contact

Kelley Davis
STEM Coach
kdavis@pagecounty.k12.va.us
5407436533


Empty Bowls

Categories: Page County | 2017

Page County Public Schools believes in giving back to the surrounding community. Page County Public School’s “Empty Bowls” program is a fundraising event held to help feed the surrounding community and fight hunger. This event is hosted by the Page County art teachers. Throughout the school year, elementary, middle and high school students, potters, and educators create hundreds of one-of-a-kind handcrafted bowls. Guests purchase tickets and in exchange enjoy a night of soup and music. Event-goers choose a handmade bowl to keep as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. A silent auction at the event also features creations crafted by teachers, and local artists. Money raised at this annual event is donated to a local food pantry. 

Contact

Kayla Koslow
Luray High School Art Teacher
kkoslow@pagecounty.k12.va.us
5407433800


Enable the Future

Categories: Chesterfield County | 2017

Using project-based learning, blended learning and service learning, CCPS is preparing 59,000-plus students to succeed in a rapidly changing world.  Tomahawk Creek Middle is thriving in this teaching environment, combining these three learning opportunities with creativity, collaboration and critical thinking to make a difference in the lives of Richmond-area teenagers. While obligated to implement the SOLs, we know that preparing students for successful futures goes well beyond shading in the correct bubble. We’ve focused on active, hands-on learning opportunities that are innovative, engaging and relevant.  We’ve challenged students with difficult assignments, and are showing them their lessons have real-life application.   Remember what middle school looked like 25 years ago? There were no SOL’s. Crisis drills included stop-drop-and-roll. Computers were in every classroom; we still had to manually change typewriter ribbon. Today, Tomahawk students are working with computers, 3-D printers and local engineers to develop prosthetic hands for young people. 

Contact

Dr. David Ellena
Principal, Tomahawk Creek Middle
david_ellena@ccpsnet.net
8043787120


Engaging Students & Staff in Environmental Literacy

Categories: Spotsylvania County | 2017

Spotsylvania County Public Schools’ Environmental Literacy Team has been working together to enhance the environmental education learning opportunities for students, teachers, and administrators.  With the funding of several grants, the team’s efforts are making positive impacts on student learning through the use of Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs).  Each year all fourth grade students visit Oakley Farm which provides an outdoor field experience hosted by our community partners.  During this visit, students have the opportunity to visit a variety of hands-on, inquiry based stations that focus on the environment.  In an effort to increase the number of environmentally conscious student stewards, a group of high school students will attend a James River trip for an in-depth environmental learning experience.  The students will then attend the Oakley Farm outdoor experience and share their learning with the fourth grade students. 

Contact

Dianne Clowes
Secondary Science Liaison
dclowes@spotsylvania.k12.va.us
5408986033


Excellence in Co-Teaching

Categories: Montgomery County | 2017

Excellence in Co-Teaching Montgomery County Public Schools’ co-teaching practices results in a focus on all students and the belief that every child can learn and achieve at high levels.  Our co-taught classrooms are warm, inviting places where the best and brightest educators co-plan, co-teach, and co-assess and on a daily basis.  Student academic strengths and weaknesses are explicitly identified and used to guide instruction.  Student goal setting is a common practice in these classrooms; students conference with teachers to monitor their own academic progress.  Student growth is continuously celebrated as co-teaching continues to have a positive impact on student learning.  As a result of this initiative, Montgomery County Public Schools is proud to announce that Christiansburg Elementary and Blacksburg High School are the recipients of the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative Grant. A team from each school was selected to participate in the Virginia Department of Education Real Co-teaching of Virginia Demonstration Site Institute II during the 2016-2017 school year.  

Contact

Pat Nelson
Director of Special Education
patnelson@mcps.org
540-382-5100


Extended day/year initiatives

Categories: Henrico County | 2017

Henrico County Public Schools took advantage of a state grant to expand and upgrade the extended-day program to include additional grade levels as well as summertime extended-year offerings. Four elementary schools, along with Fairfield Middle School, currently offer after-school academic programming, including transportation home.   The Henrico Education Foundation is spearheading the grant-funded effort to beef up the extended-day program by adding enhancements to close gaps for students. The enhancements will create a community-center atmosphere with wraparound services provided in conjunction with community partners. In the works are arts programs and STEM activities, mentoring and character education, parenting resources, forums and classes, and access to health resources and screenings. A pilot program is operating at Glen Lea Elementary School this year, and the initiative will eventually be expanded to more schools. 

Contact

Andy Jenks
Director, communications and public relations
ajenks@henrico.k12.va.us
804-652-3724


Falls Church City Public Schools: International Baccalaureate k-12

Categories: Falls Church City | 2017

Falls Church City Public Schools (FCCPS)  is proud to be the first K-12 International Baccalaureate (IB) World School Division in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This achievement is the result of years of preparation on the part of school employees, community members and students.  FCCPS is able to  provide a continuum of education as every student incorporates the IB learner profile, which describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success. The IB provides a framework of learning that encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. It emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement, essential qualities for young people who are becoming global leaders. 

Contact

Jeanne Seabridge
Director of Teaching, Learning, and Achievement
seabridgej@fccps.org
7032485636


Feed Our Future

Categories: Surry County | 2017

Feed Our Future provides a weekend supply of nutritious food for children at Surry Elementary School when school meals are unavailable on the weekend.  All food is provided free of charge. Though the program is intended to help those children whose families find it difficult to have enough food for the entire month, all children are eligible for this program. Weekly, we serve 124 students; more than 1/3 of our school population. Five times a year, we provide supplement grocery bags of food for parents when school is closed for holidays. 

Contact

Mrs. Ann Marie Nelin
Principal, Surry Elementary School
ann_nelin@surryschools.net
757-267-2558


Flexible Seating Environments to Support Deeper Learning

Categories: Middlesex County | 2017

Students learn best in spaces that are personalized and flexible. In order to engage students in activities that cultivate today’s essential skills - creativity, problem solving, collaboration - classrooms need to move quickly among a variety of designs and structures. MCPS believes in a student-centered pedagogy that demands a different kind of classroom to support the innovative use of relevant tools and deeper learning activities. Sara Spain, grade 4 teacher at Middlesex Elementary School has established a model classroom to propagate the use of flexible seating styles and arrangements to better enable collaborative, project and performance based learning activities.

Contact

Danielle Allen
Interim Principal
Middlesex Elementary School
dallen@mcps.k12.va.us
(804) 758-2496


Foundations of Independent Research and Communications (FIRC)

Categories: Governor's Schools, CTE Centers, Etc. | 2017

Required of all ninth grade students FIRC is the first step in a research and writing progression that culminates with the senior seminar/mentorship capstone project and presentation. Research and writing are emphasized and demonstrated in all courses, including culminating projects in Chemistry, Global Studies 10, and American Literature/AP English Language and Composition. This course provides students with the skills to conduct independent research. The four core components of the course are taught by an interdisciplinary team of instructors from mathematics, science, language arts, and global studies. The course is designed to prepare students to succeed in a rigorous academic program, be independent learners, use effective research skills, think critically and solve problems creatively, use technology in a rapidly changing technological environment, work effectively in teams, and communicate effectively in written, oral, and visual formats. 

Contact

Dr. Wendy Taylor Ellis
Assistant Director
wellis@gsgis.k12.va.us
804-354-6800


Fredericksburg Alliance for Student Achievement

Categories: Fredericksburg City | 2017

The Fredericksburg Alliance for Student Achievement (FASA) is a partnership between the school division and the community to support academic achievement by all students.  The school division provides funding and coordination for teacher tutors to work with children in neighborhood community centers and housing areas across the city.   Participation is free and parents receive brochures regarding the locations, times, and services offered. The program serves a cross-section of students throughout the city.  Each school has a designated liaison who connects the tutoring sites to the students, parents, teachers, and schools. The liaisons meet monthly with the FASA Committee that includes community site coordinators and division administrators. Grade level Standards of Learning resource materials are provided to students in their neighborhoods as part of a SOL Spring Kickoff Celebration to recognize successful achievement and growth.  

Contact

Mrs. Marceline Catlett
Deputy Superintendent 
mcatlett@cityschools.com
540-372-1130


Future Ready Team

Categories: Winchester City | 2017

Winchester Public Schools is focused on a strategic plan that will create more personalized learning environments to drive student academic, personal and interpersonal growth, and preparing students for the 21st century workplace skills. We have concluded that our teachers who have embraced personalized learning have seen greater improvements in student achievement. WPS is creating a Future Ready Team that will enhance their ability for blended learning and project-based learning. Collectively we have concluded that these alternatives to traditional teaching allow for more personalized learning for students and engaging learning experiences. WPS sought applicants for the WPS Future-Ready Team. This team will be provided with substantive professional development, funding for future-ready classroom design, and serve as future-ready instructional capacity builders. Participants will implement Experimentation Classrooms that will be supported during the implementation by members of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Eventually these classrooms will evolve into Demonstration Classrooms.

Contact

Brian S. Wray
Director of Secondary Instruction
wrayb@wps.k12.va.us
540-686-0120


Get Your Game On - Building Life Skills to Take Students to the Next Level

Categories: Spotsylvania County | 2017

Spotsylvania County Public Schools’ Office of Communication and Community Engagement spearheads local efforts to invite high school juniors and seniors from five school divisions to the annual “Get Your Game On” event.  This event, sponsored by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Work Force NOW Committee, in two years and has grown to include over 400 students from Caroline, Spotsylvania, and Stafford counties, and the City of Fredericksburg.  In addition, more than 35 local businesses participate.      This event brings together students and businesses offering students the opportunity to hone interviewing and networking skills.  Students participate in mock interviews and attend workshop sessions on workplace readiness topics including Customer Service & Networking, Resume Writing, and Social Media’s impact on landing a job.  This year, students participated in an engagement activity and crafted their 30-second elevator pitch.  Feedback from all participants overwhelmingly supports continuing the event for a third year.   

Contact

Rene Daniels
Director of Communications & Community Engagement
rdaniels@spotsylvania.k12.va.us
5408342500


Harvard Instructional Rounds

Categories: Southampton County | 2017

Harvard Instructional Rounds increases shared experiences in classrooms and provides a clear understanding of effective teaching and best practices throughout a school or division. Teachers observe each other and compare instruction to their current practices. Instructional rounds yield systemic improvement of teaching and learning through a process involving distributed instructional leadership focused on rigor with challenging cognitive demand. Constructive feedback from administrators and colleagues assist schools to improve in many areas such as the learning environment, teaching strategies, technology resources, classroom management and individualized student learning. Teachers are the number one factor of student achievement. Instructional Rounds will clarify the understanding of what high quality instruction looks like and how students, teachers and administrators can collaborate for the purpose of students being ready for the next grade level as well as being college or career ready. 

Contact

Kelli Gillette
Director of Instruction
kgillett@southampton.k12.va.us
7576532692


Help the Homeless Campaign

Categories: Roanoke City | 2017

After a spike in our homeless numbers, students from our two high schools (Patrick Henry & William Fleming) came together to form the STAR (Students Take Action in Roanoke) Council; the goal is to help our homeless students.  Through various fundraising efforts, the students have raised close to $15,000 in just two years.   

Contact

Justin McLeod
Community Relations Coordinator
jmcleod@rcps.info
540-853-2905


HHS Fine Arts Academy

Categories: Harrisonburg City | 2017

The Harrisonburg High School Fine Arts Academy, developed and implemented in 2013, is an interdisciplinary, collaborative, and experiential learning community that prepares students for a lifelong career, passion, and/or appreciation of creativity through the arts. The curriculum, a sequential four-year program focusing on fundamentals, history, and culture, culminates with a year-long community arts project.  Critical thinking and advanced problem solving are demanded from each student, while individual artistic growth is inherent within the curriculum.    Students audition in six specific artistic strands including visual, movement, music, dramatic and creative writing arts.  Students interview with faculty, discussing their interests, ideas, and inspirations in all art forms to ensure value in multiple disciplines. Six teachers, each bringing an expertise to the community, teach collaboratively, in concert and individually, to bring the curriculum alive to the students. In addition to their community learning class, students are required to study in their specific art strand to develop their craft. Assessment is based on an artistry rubric, developed by students and staff, used to encourage emotional creativity, risk, revision, and quality. 

Contact

JR Snow
Fine Arts Academy Director and PK-12 Fine Arts Coordinator
jsnow@harrisonburg.k12.va.us
540-437-5036


History Unfolded: US Newspapers and the Holocaust

Categories: Staunton City | 2017

Students at Robert E. Lee High School take part in a unique opportunity to be “citizen historians” with history teacher and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) Teacher Fellow Jennifer Goss. As members of the USHMM initiative “History Unfolded: US Newspapers and the Holocaust”, students engage with history while contributing research to a national institution. Students learn about history by experiencing it through the eyes of Staunton residents during the Holocaust era. They discover more than books can teach them and make relevant connections to community and personal current events. The students’ research helps the Museum and scholars answer the question, “What did Americans know about the events of the Holocaust as they were unfolding?” This project enriches student learning related to this time period and allows them to see how their own community functioned during the past. Students have contributed over two dozen articles to the national database.

Contact

Jennifer Goss
History Teacher and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Teacher Fellow
jgoss@staunton.k12.va.us
(540) 332-3926


Innovation Space

Categories: Fairfax City | 2017

This year Daniels Run Elementary School in Fairfax launched the “Innovation Space”, a classroom dedicated to bringing innovation to students. The space offers every student in the school an enrichment program to become inventors, collaborators and problem solvers. Students will take everyday items such as cardboard rolls, Legos, pipe cleaners and egg cartons to solve complex challenges to improve existing objects or create entirely new products. Classes rotate throughout the Innovation Space each quarter for age appropriate challenges that enriches their core curriculum subjects. Earlier this year, first graders studying shapes in math worked in groups to create new obstacles for the television show “American Ninja Warrior”. The students’ work was highlighted on the America Ninja Warrior website and the kids even received a video thank you from the show’s host! 

Contact

Carrie Dorsey
City of Fairfax Schools
carrie.dorsey@fairfaxva.gov
703-385-7911


Integrated Arts & College Prep SpringBoard Model

Categories: Richmond City | 2017

The College Prep SpringBoard program, recently implemented at Binford Middle School, is the first in the region and only second in the state. It allows all english and math students the opportunity to experience AP courses. The integrated arts model is significantly supported by the University of Richmond's School of Professional and Continuing Studies which houses the Partners in the Arts program.  Their mission is to, "train educators to integrate the arts into their preK-12 curriculum, and provide support to implement school-based projects created in our courses, workshops and professional development sessions."   

Contact

Melissa Rickey
Principal, Binford Middle School
mrickey@rvaschools.net
804.780.6231


JMU College Mentors for Kids

Categories: Harrisonburg City | 2017

JMU College Mentors for Kids is a non-profit organization that was designed to pair college mentors with elementary students.  Through weekly after-school activities, mentors and students use the time together to focus on higher education and career, culture and diversity, and community service.  Mentors help their "little buddies" understand the importance of education, show them the benefits to cultural understanding, and teach them ways to give back to their community.  The program is just getting started at Keister Elementary School, but we can already see and feel the excitement from students as they've met their mentors and made the initial connection to the college experience.

Contact

Whitney Kinkead
School Counselor
wkinkead@harrisonburg.k12.va.us
540-434-6585


Job Shadowing Program

Categories: Salem City | 2017

The Salem City School Division has partnered with the Salem-Roanoke Chamber of Commerce and Junior Achievment of Southwest Virginia to create a Job Shadowing program that matches students with business/industry partners to ensure that every student has the opportunity to participate ina t least one job shadowing opportunity while in high school.  Students apply online and are contacted by JA reps with the information necessary to contact and schedule their placement, unsuring that students utilize "soft skills" necessary for career success.  

Contact

Curtis Hicks
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction
chicks@salem.k12.va.us
5403890130


Jostens Renaissance

Categories: Stafford County | 2017

For over 25 years, Jostens has partnered with educators to renew school climate and culture through Jostens Renaissance® Education. Thousands of schools across North America are proud to call themselves “Jostens Renaissance” schools, sharing a sense of pride that is reflected in the results seen in improved academic performance, behavior, student engagement, and overall school spirit.  Through collaboration, we are able to share ideas, create new relationships, and implement plans that improve our school’s climate and culture. By focusing on building the students’ character, enhancing connections with all stakeholders, and creating a culture of celebration of all achievements, we have inspired success for the future. Renaissance has helped us boost North Stafford and Brooke Point High School’s culture with the excitement, appreciation and uplifting energy of recognition and rewards to inspire students and staffulty. Each building has been able to personalize Renaissance to enhance their individual cultures. 

Contact

Tom NIchols
Chief Secondary Officer
nicholstm@staffordschools.net
540-658-6000


Jouett STEAM Lab Resource

Categories: Louisa County | 2017

In 2015-2016, Jouett Elementary School created a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Lab to give space for STEM-based learning projects and activities. But this year, the school’s leadership took that a step further and added STEAM as part of the weekly Resource rotation schedule. As a result, every student spends at least an hour each week engaged in problem-based learning. As a result, STEAM concepts and the 5Cs of communication, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and citizenship and being woven into the very fabric of the school’s education program. The additional Resource time was made possible by the re-assignment of an Instructional Assistant to the lab, the support of core content teachers and the Resource teachers (Music, Art, Physical Education, Library), and the excitement our students show in the lab every day. 

Contact

Justin Grigg
Principal, Jouett Elementary School
griggjs@lcps.k12.va.us
5408723931


K-Kids, Key Club and Bridge Builders

Categories: Middlesex County | 2017

Students at all three levels, “K Kids” at the elementary school, “Builders Club” at the middle school, and Key Club” at the high school, partner with local volunteers to learn the value of community service and participate in joint service projects together. K Kids meets weekly assisting with a Backpack Buddy Program, count BoxTops, peer tutor, design and implement donation programs, and other projects that help strengthen the school and community. Bridge Builders Club members pair up with young readers to model appreciation for reading and enhance developmental comprehension.  Coordinated in partnership with the Middlesex Kiwanis, these programs specifically galvanize the link between the community and students. 

Contact

Tracy Seitz
Assistant Superintendent
tseitz@mcps.k12.va.us
8047582277


Lafayette Upper Elementary School and Quantico Marine Corps Base Adopt A School Program and Partners

Categories: Fredericksburg City | 2017

The purpose of this partnership is to support community involvement in education through Marine Corps volunteerism by contributing to the education of school-aged children in the local community.  More specifically, Marine Corps volunteers visit Lafayette Upper Elementary to participate in the Super Lions Lunch incentive program and interact with students and families.  The PTA sponsored, Super Lions program recognizes two boys and two girls from each grade level based on success in the areas of leadership, citizenship, academic performance, behavior, and Lion Pride expectations.  Students are chosen each month for this award and a luncheon is held for them, along with a buddy of their choice.  In addition to their service in these luncheons, Marine Corps volunteers will also serve as mentors and role models for other school sponsored activities and events during the school year and volunteer in the classrooms.  Active duty military professionals of all branches have agreed to support the needs of Lafayette Upper Elementary on an ongoing basis through this Adopt A School program.

Contact

Matthew Terry 
Principal, Lafayette Upper Elementary School
mterry@cityschools.com
540-310-0029


Learning PODs

Categories: Alleghany County | 2017

Small group LA instruction intervention meant to capture enrichment, on target, and remedial levels with assistance from classroom teachers and support staff.

Contact

Sherman Callahan
Principal
scallahan@alleghany.k12.va.us
540-863-1712
 


Lee-Davis High School Agriculture

Categories: Hanover County | 2017

The Lee-Davis Agriculture Program is an innovate program that emphasizes STEM in an applicable setting.  Our main objective is to prepare students for successful careers related to agriculture through Plant Systems and Power Structural Pathways.  We cater to a wide variety of learners through differentiated instruction using skill sets and technology common to industry standards.  Recently our greenhouse irrigation systems had been updated to conserve water, and demonstrate alternative methods of production.  Our Agriculture Mechanics and Plant based classes emphasize math and science through project based learning.  All the while, we are a co-curricular course instilling leadership to our students through the FFA (Future Farmers of America), and have been successful in many FFA Competitions.  Our students are actively giving back to the community, and engaged through outside-the-class learning through the Supervised Agricultural Experience Program.  Noteworthy projects: building a retaining wall, replacing bleachers, and landscaping the Welcome to Mechanicsville sign.

Contact

Cindy Green and Jessica Kreye
CTE- Agriculture Teachers
cgreen@hcps.us
8047232245


Literacy for All Students; no exceptions, no excuses!

Categories: Covington City | 2017

In partnership with our TTAC representatives from Virginia Tech we here at Jeter Watson Intermediate School have initiated a literacy plan to try and bring all our studetns up to grade level reading by the time they finish the 7th grade.  We are making changes to our Tier 1 reading instruction and have added Tier 2 and Tier 3 reading interventions such as Fusion Reading for our 6th and 7th graders.  I-Ready seats for grades 4,6, and 7.  We have implemeted Orton Gillingham for some of our 5th grade students along with the RAZ KIDS program for our lowest readers in the 5th grade.

Contact

Dr. Shannon Fuhrman
Director of Instruction
sfuhrman@covington.k12.va.us
540-965-1400


Literacy Partnership Program

Categories: Spotsylvania County | 2017

Spotsylvania County Public Schools, with generous support of Mr. Ron Rosner and the Toyota Automotive Group, has launched a Literacy Partner Program at our elementary schools using The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System to seamlessly link assessment to instruction along The Continuum of Literacy Learning.  Through this program SCPS is able to identify the needs of struggling readers and writers, and prescribe the intervention necessary to close literacy gaps.  Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) is a small group, supplementary literacy intervention designed for students who find reading and writing difficult.   The Literacy Partnership Program Grant has enabled SCPS to purchase materials and provide teachers with the high-quality professional learning to create a supported environment of literacy. This initiative also includes take-home books so we can engage parents as partners in the children’s success.  Teachers are using data from the programs to determine student progress and literacy intervention options.

Contact

Michael Mudd
Director of Elementary Education
mmudd@spotsylvania.k12.va.us
5408342500


Louisa County High School Hometown Homecoming

Categories: Louisa County | 2017

Our new superintendent’s theme of “TeamLCPS” means that all of our students, teachers, and staff share a common mission. Our community is also a key piece of TeamLCPS. To demonstrate that concept, Louisa County High School turned its annual Homecoming parade into a community event held in downtown Mineral, Virginia.  In addition to Homecoming Court floats, this year’s parade featured entries from the school board, middle school groups, all of our elementary schools, local youth groups, area businesses, local service clubs, and every fire company in the area. The result was an amazing night that showed all of us united around a single goal–supporting our students.   The TeamLCPS concept has been emphasized in a number of other ways, including spirit days, an employee recognition program, and even an app. The Hometown Homecoming Parade set the stage for success and will continue to help our students for years to come. 

Contact

Lee Downey
downeylc@lcps.k12.va.us
5408945436


Lunch and Learn Program

Categories: Mathews County | 2017

The Lunch and Learn Program is a creative initiative developed by the Mathews County Public Schools Special Education Office in partnership with the Parent Resource Center and Special Education Advisory Committee.  The goal of Lunch and Learn is to strengthen parent-school collaboration, reinforce the importance of family involvement in children’s academic success and foster ongoing communication between schools and families of students with special needs.   Parents, educators, family members/caregivers and interested persons are invited to participate at four Lunch and Learn sessions throughout the school year.  Sessions are held at a local restaurant and engage participants in facilitated discussion about home, school and community factors that contribute to students’ academic achievement and well-being. The benefits of close family-school partnerships have been shown empirically to increase self-esteem, foster children’s satisfaction with school, reduce drop-out rates and increase graduation rates, which are long-term and evolving goals of the Lunch and Learn Program.

Contact

Louise LeBron
Director of Special Education and Federal Programs
llebron@mathews.k12.va.us
804-725-3499


Mathews High School Nursing Assistant Program

Categories: Mathews County | 2017

The Nurse Aide Program at Mathews High School is offered to twelfth grade students and is designed to prepare students for professional certification testing.  The students receive clinical instruction at Mathews Riverside Convalescent Center, which has been a successful partnership. Our students can go to work after graduation in a high demand field, or use the training as a stepping stone to other health care careers.  From Mathews to Richmond and even in surrounding states you can find many LPN’s, RN’s, radiology techs, and a future doctor that have been though the nursing program at Mathews High School. This program is dual enrollment with Rappahannock Community College. The program has been in place here at Mathews High School for 24 years under the direction of Nancy H. Rowe, RN, and has been contributing to the medical profession.

Contact

Nancy Hudgins Rowe, RN
Nursing Assistant Instructor
nrowe@mathews.k12.va.us
804-725-3702


McHarg Elementary Swim School

Categories: Radford City | 2017

McHarg Elementary and the Christiansburg Aquatic center will be offering second-grade students swimming and water safety lessons.  Second grade students will take part in the eight-week program during the last quarter of our school year.  Each student will have eight 30-minute swim classes, 30 minutes of swimming free play, and a safety lesson with each visit.  Living on the New River and having access to a variety of water sports can provide recreational fun for all of our area families.   McHarg Elementary has 54 % of children living in poverty.  Not all of our students can afford swimming lessons.  We believe that this proactive program combined with rigorous academics allows for a well-rounded student.    This will be the 6th year swim school has been offered to Radford City Schools second grade students.

Contact

Michael J. Brown
Principal
mbrown@rcps.org
540-731-3652


Mentorship Program

Categories: Augusta County | 2017

Augusta County School’s Mentorship Program is an exciting, unpaid, work-based learning experience available to highly motivated students during their senior year. The one semester course gives students the opportunity to work side by side with mentors who have chosen to share their knowledge, experience, and talents to help students begin to explore a career interest. Students go to a work site for two to three hours per day and participate in the daily routines and tasks related to that specific career. In addition to learning about the various technical skills related to the specific career, students also develop and improve their “soft skills” such as collaboration, communication, and problem solving which are transferable skills used in all careers. This valuable experience facilitates students making well-informed decisions regarding their future career and the skills, education, and training required.

Contact

Lisa M. Shifflett
Mentorship Coordinator
lshifflett@augusta.k12.va.us
540-245-5119


Middle School Interactive Media Lab

Categories: Middlesex County | 2017

The 6th Grade team at St. Clare Walker Middle School has piloted a Chrombook and interactive media lab initiative.  The teachers have been working on technology integration within the curriculum, taking steps to become Google Certified Instructors, and collaborating with school leaders, ITRTs, and other Google Certified personnel to create engaging technology-driven lessons.  The team is assembling equipment to build a full technology media room in the 6th grade lab, accessible to all grade levels.  The vision is to have 3-D printing, touch-enabled work stations, live interactive conferencing, and multiple touch-screen presentation areas for students to collaborate, create and produce unique projects aligned with project based learning. 

Contact

Steve Dunkel
Director of Technology and Assessment
sdunkel@mcps.k12.va.us
8047582277


Middle School STEM Expo

Categories: Augusta County | 2017

In response to the recent trends for rapid employment growth in STEM-related careers, it is important for our school division to meet these demands by exposing our students to the 21st century learning skills necessary to be competitive in these areas.  As a result, Augusta County Public Schools holds a district-wide middle school STEM Expo to encourage students to think in a logical and systematic way that allows them to explore their world, work collaboratively with peers, and to interact with professionals in the community. The STEM Expo is an innovative alternative to the typical science fair. This year, we hosted 243 students, grades 6-8, presenting 166 projects in the areas of: Scientific Inquiry, Invention, and Reverse Engineering.  Students are judged by local STEM professionals from NIBCO, Shentel, JMU, Hershey, and Headwaters Soil & Conservation District. 

Contact

Angela Deitz
Curriculum Supervisor, Secondary STEM, K-12 Gifted Ed
deitz.al@augusta.k12.va.us
(540) 245-5117


Multi-Age Classroom

Categories: Albemarle County | 2017

In 2015-16, instead of adding six conventional classrooms to accommodate enrollment growth, Agnor-Hurt Elementary School unveiled one room---a multi-age classroom, housing 120 students in grades K-5.  It includes abundant open space, flexible and comfortable student furniture, the latest technological capabilities and a strong emphasis on project-based, collaborative learning.  Teachers are learning facilitators centering the project-based, collaborative curriculum on student interests.  Students work across grade levels based upon their levels of proficiency and often assist one another.  Early returns are remarkable—SOL pass rates went from 69 to 80 in English; 64 to 78 in Math; 69 to 95 in History and 60 to 85 in Science.  The waiting list of parents wanting their children to be enrolled is so large that next year, the school will free up additional space to meet this demand.  Governor McAuliffe visited in 2015 as part of his tour around innovation in education.

Contact

Michele Castner
Principal
mdcastner@k12albemarle.org
434-973-5211


National Archery in Schools Program

Categories: Giles County | 2017

In September 2016, Narrows Elementary Middle School embarked on new program to foster self-confidence, discipline, self-esteem, sportsmanship, and student involvement.  Partnering with Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, in connection with the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP), several faculty members became certified archery instructors.  To date, 160 students have been trained and participated in a designed archery curriculum during physical education.  Additionally, an archery team was developed to compete, both regionally and statewide.  Students, parents, and the community have celebrated the implementation of the program.  Most importantly, it has given our students an opportunity to represent their school and community and have fun doing it.

Contact

Crystal Dunn
6th Grade Teacher - NEMS
cdunn@gilesk12.net
(540) 726 - 2391


Nelson County High School Building Trades/ Habitat For Humanities Partnership

Categories: Nelson County | 2017

For more than two decades, Nelson County’s Building Trades Program has partnered with Nelson Habitat for Humanities to help accomplish its mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. This year marks the 24th time students in the program have undertaken this project.  The students build the house from the ground up, including everything from installing the floor system to the shingles on the roof, as well as building walls and roughing in plumbing and electrical inside.  Through the Habitat project, students learn skills that translate to real-world, post-secondary jobs. The building trade curriculum helps them learn tangible skills like how to cut boards, build walls and install insulation, and other important soft skills such as teamwork and problem solving.  Additionally, students learn about heating ventilation and air-conditioning systems and electrical work.  They fulfill orders from the community for items such as picnic tables, Adirondack chairs, sheds and personalized corn hole boards. The NCHS Building Trades Program and Habitat for Humanities Partnership allows students to use their skills to help the community.  Students are involved in the process from beginning to end.  The class watches the movement of their house and then goes on a field trip to see the house on its new site. Students take pride in knowing that through this partnership they are lending a helping hand to families.

Contact

Paul Connell
Building Trades Teacher
pconnell@nelson.k12.va.us
434- 263- 8317


NFMS Net Zero Science Lab

Categories: Shenandoah County | 2017

This student-led project has engaged community partnerships in both the development of and extension of an instructional science innovation that immerses students in real-life problem solving and applications using alternative energy to power a science classroom.  The initiative stemmed from investigations conducted by 6th grade science students in response to an energy challenge presented by Dr. Jeremy Raley, then Superintendent of Shenandoah County Schools: “Find ways to use alternative energy in our schools to reduce dependence on the grid.”  Students were tasked to describe what “net-zero” would look like at NFMS.  The idea that emerged was that we recycle an unused modular classroom behind the school building into a Net Zero Science Lab. This program employs problem-based learning and authentic hands-on experiences in order to establish the essential elements of conservation in an innovative and collaborative setting and to connect conservation and efficiency to the fundamental principles of sustainability.

Contact

John Woods
Science Teacher
jfwoods@shenandoah.k12.va.us
540-842-2444


NNPS Engineering Design Challenges

Categories: Newport News | 2017

NNPS Engineering Design Challenges are intended to spark student interest in STEM careers by weaving together the college, career, and citizen-ready mission of Newport News Public Schools and the needs of local STEM industry into one learning experience. Students from across the division come together to collaborate in rigorous, career-based challenges that pose real-world problems. Each design challenge is intentionally crafted to support the Virginia Standards of Learning, demonstrate the interrelatedness of subject areas, and expose students to diverse career opportunities. The design challenges allow more than 10,000 students a year to experience the multi-faceted world of engineering through six unique division-wide challenges and the related curriculum. Since the program’s beginning in 2014, students have worked alongside professionals from Canon, Jefferson Lab, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Liebherr Construction, The Port of Virginia and others to learn how to apply the engineering design process in solving real-world problems. 

Contact

Tami Byron
STEM Instructional Supervisor 
tami.byron@nn.k12.va.us 
757.283.7850 x10113


NNPS Future Teachers Program

Categories: Newport News | 2017

The Future Teachers Program in Newport News Public Schools provides aspiring educators with the tools to pursue their dream and the incentive to work in Newport News. This innovative program identifies high school students who plan to become teachers and provides them with professional development and employment opportunities during the summer, licensure guidance, mentorships and conditional offers of employment. Key components include the: • “Emerging Teacher Institute” for college students to highlight the expertise and learning environment in NNPS; • “Student Teacher University” for college seniors who are practicing student teachers. This will establish NNPS as student teachers’ first choice for employment by providing free professional development in which they also become familiar with the school division.  • “Teacher Residency Program” that pairs a compensated full-year classroom apprenticeship as students finish their master’s in teaching degree, followed by a commitment for three years of employment upon successful completion of the residency. 

Contact

Leslie Marble
Employment Supervisor
leslie.marble@nn.k12.va.us
(757) 881-5061, option 9, ext. 11104


NNPS Technology Learning Centers

Categories: Newport News | 2017

What do you call a place where students have access to 1:1 Computing, 3D Technology, Robotics, Makerspaces and Virtual Reality all in one room? It’s officially called a Technology Learning Center, but students in Newport News Public Schools just call it “awesome.” That was the verdict by one elementary student when she helped cut the ribbon opening up a TLC at her school. In four elementary, one middle and one high school, students flock to TLCs to learn through hands-on methods that encourage them to work with their peers using multiple technology tools. The TLCs also provide a direct connection to the school division’s STEM curriculum and provide a space where students can continue learning how to code, solve real-world problems and improve 21st century skills. Each TLC also promotes stronger digital literacy for students and teachers as they learn how to use digital technology in a responsible and collaborative environment.

Contact

Scarlett Minto
Director of Technology
scarlett.minto@nn.k12.va.us
757-283-7879


No Kid Hungry Initiatives

Categories: King George County | 2017

King George County Schools Food Services Coordinator, Anita Davis, has implemented several nutrition initiatives to ensure healthy food choices for students using grant funding through the Virginia Department of Health.  The Summer Feed initiative provided 15,831 free hot meals to  students 18 and younger. The Dine on Us program has served over 16,560 free  dinners to students since August 2016. In addition, Davis’ innovative breakfast options like Breakfast in the Classroom, helps to keep the flow of instruction by giving students a healthy start in the morning in the classroom. Second Chance Breakfast at the middle and high schools offer breakfast after first block. Ms. Davis reports at 7% increase in students eating breakfast from 15-16 to 16-17. She notes, “Students need good nutrition to keep their minds mentally alert at school.” These initiatives have provided thousands of students the chance to enjoy healthy food choices in school.

Contact

Carolyn Anita Davis
Coordinator of School Nutrition
adavis@kgcs.k12.va.us
540-775-8643


Nottoway BookAway Bookmobile

Categories: Nottoway County | 2017

Nottoway Middle School started a bookmobile to serve all ages of children, called the Nottoway Book Away, in the summer of 2016. We needed a way to reach our students with books where they live.  The Nottoway bookmobile was the perfect solution.  We needed a vehicle, books, and county support.  I got a small bus donated, a grant helped supply books, the county bus shop provided the necessary maintenance, and a county employee built shelves for the bus. We also outfitted the bus with 10 Chromebooks for students to use at each stop.  The bookmobile has a PA system that plays music to let the students know of its arrival.  Students choose books to check out and choose a book to keep as their own. Because of many requests from the students, I am driving it on Wednesdays during the school year when the weather permits.

Contact

Judy Deichman
Librarian
deichman.judith@nottowayschools.org
434-292-5375


Nurse Aide Program

Categories: Appomattox County | 2017

Appomattox County High School’s Nurse Aide Program consists of three years of study which includes Introduction to Health and Medical Sciences, Nurse Aide I, and Nurse Aide II.ACHS and Appomattox Health and Rehabilitation Center (AHRC) have a partnership that allows our students real world experiences for the skills they have learned. This opportunity gives our students the experience they need to be successful as healthcare professionals. They learn the value of teamwork, positive work ethic, communication skills, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving as they provide care for the residents. At the completion of the program students are prepared to take the Virginia State Licensure Exam to become a CNA before their high school graduation.  This program prepares students for jobs immediately upon high school graduation or to further their education in the healthcare field. This program gives our students a head start towards a rewarding career.       

Contact

Renee Wingfield
Nurse Aide Program Teacher
rwingfield@acpsweb.com
434-352-7146


Online collaboration with Spanish students

Categories: Roanoke County | 2017

Students in 5th grade are being partnered with students in a Spanish speaking developing country.  During the program, students will send video messages back and forth with their partner and work together to create a design for a solar flashlight (using Tinkercad). They will 3D print and assemble their designs. High School Spanish students from Cave Spring High will be coming to work with the 5th graders to teach them basic Spanish conversational skills so they will be able to include Spanish in their videos.  The project clearly supports the 5 C's plus Global Studies, Science, Writing, Oral Communication, and Computer/Technology SOLs.  

Contact

Chuck Lionberger
Community Relations Specialist
clionberger@rcs.k12.va.us
540-562-3900


Parent Educator Resource Center for Radford City Public Schools

Categories: Radford City | 2017

The Parent Educator Resource Center (PERC) was created as a support system for parents, educators, and our community. The PERC exists to promote student success by helping parents and educators come together as a team. Our staff is available to offer guidance about the special education process, family involvement activities, and links to various community resources and information. This school year we have had several workshops. First, we had a training for parents on understanding the IEP process. Secondly, we had a workshop for parents and students to create sensory items for student use to offer sensory integration and maintain focus/attention in the classroom/home. Thirdly, we united with TTAC and held a workshop for the “I’m Determined” project which focuses on teaching our youth with and without special needs self-determination skills. We are also offering a transition fair in March for our parents/students with special needs so they know their opportunities after high-school. 

Contact

Nicole Burgard
Staff member for Parent Educator Resource Center
nburgard@rcps.org
(540) 731-3653


Parent Volunteer Training

Categories: Alleghany County | 2017

Information will be shared on how one school trains parent and other volunteers.  Volunteer requirements, expectations, rules, and procedures will be shared.  The more parents understand what is expected of volunteers, the more supportive they are of their child and the school. Parent involvement is a key to improved student achievement.

Contact

Mrs. Nancy M. Moga
Principal, Callaghan Elementary School
nmoga@alleghany.k12.va.us
540-965-1810


Parry McCluer High School and Virginia Military Institute Timber Frame Project

Categories: Buena Vista City | 2017

A 24" X 48" timber frame pavillion will be constructed March 31-April 4 inside the gate of the PMHS athletic field by community members and high school and college students. The project will be led by Colonel Grigg Mullen, Jr., a professor of civil engineering at VMI. All materials have been donated by local community members and businesses. This is a true community event where the young and coold(er), experienced and inexperienced are coming together to create a structure using a construction process that dates back thousands of years.

Contact

Anna Graham
Principal/Assistant Superintendent
anna.graham@bvcps.net
5402612129


Partnership with the Literacy Lab: Literacy Intervention Program

Categories: Henrico County | 2017

HCPS has established a partnership with the Literacy Lab, a nonprofit that provides low-income children with individualized literacy instruction. The group is in place at seven HCPS elementary schools receiving federal Title I funds. The Literacy Lab places two full-time reading tutors in each partner school, at a cost to HCPS of just $10,000 annually per school. Tutors use data to identify K-3 students needing literacy help. Each tutor has a caseload of 15-18 students, and works individually with the students daily for 20 minutes using evidence-based intervention strategies. The tutors also work at events beyond the school day.  Literacy Lab monitors student progress: as students achieve grade-level proficiency, they are replaced by others needing more help. Literacy Lab staff members work with an HCPS staff member at each school to integrate their work with the school’s goals. A 2014 University of Chicago study showed that the model was replicable and effective.

Contact

Andy Jenks
Director, communications and public relations
ajenks@henrico.k12.va.us
804-652-3724


Performance Assessment Partnership

Categories: Goochland County | 2017

Goochland County Public Schools’ Balanced Assessment Project is built on an equilibrium among both assessment purpose (achievement versus growth) and assessment type (traditional versus nontraditional).  Entering the fourth year of our assessment work, we are seeing strong outcomes for students along with positive impacts to day-to-day classroom instruction.  As part of the next evolution of this work, we have established a strong partnership with Chesterfield County Public Schools and Dr. Chris Gareis from William & Mary University in the development of nineteen signature performance assessments that will used K-12 and evaluated cross-divisionally during the 2017-18 school year.  These performance assessments are being developed by teachers and are aimed and measuring “the five Cs” along with content knowledge.  This work represents best practice in terms of the Virginia’s local alternative assessment framework; moreover, it demonstrates one promising approach to providing students, teachers, and parents with a more complete picture of student learning.

Contact

Stephen Geyer
Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
sgeyer@glnd.k12.va.us
(804) 556-5609


Performing Arts Educational Outreach

Categories: Prince William County | 2017

The Manassas Ballet Theatre provides ballet performances for PWCS students free of charge, featuring highlights from the professional dance troupe’s current performances that will increase students’ exposure to the fine arts and awareness of local arts programs. Informational question-and-answer sessions are provided at each performance that will discuss the opportunities and career options available within the fine and performing arts. Students may ask questions about the dancers’ training, their individual cultures, why they chose dance as a career, how they came to perform in the United States, and more.  This opportunity was able to come to fruition due to the discounted rental fees for the use of the Hylton Performing Arts Center. PWCS coordinates individual school participation and covers the cost of transportation for students to attend these World-Class performances. 

Contact

Sharon Henry
Director of SPARK, the Education Foundation for PWCS and Supervisor of the Office of Community and Business Engagement
henrysw@pwcs.edu
703.791.8002


Preschool and Infant Toddler Connection

Categories: Augusta County | 2017

Augusta County Public Schools, the Infant and Toddler Connection, and Community Child Care Centers are collaborating to impact the community through preparing children with risk factors for school success to learn and excel when they reach kindergarten.  Our goal is to create access to community preschool programs for children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend, thereby supporting a philosophy that all children have the right to learn and grow with their peers.  In order to achieve these goals Augusta County Schools and the Infant and Toddler Connection have established relationships with five community programs willing to serve identified two year olds.  Research shows that children learn through their experiences and opportunities; therefore, by collaborating with the community programs we are better able to meet the needs of children with disabilities while simultaneously supporting community partners and creating environments that benefit all children in those community placements.

Contact

Amy Taylor
Infant Toddler Coordinator
taylor.al@augusta.k12.va.us
(540) 245-5133


Prince William County Public Schools Self-Inspection Program for Fire Safety

Categories: Prince William County | 2017

 PWCS and the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue (DFR) have combined resources in efforts to reduce hazards to life and property for students, staff, and visitors within PWCS facilities. Self-Inspection Program Requirements are that PWCS safety specialists will attain certification of Fire Inspector I and II through the Virginia Fire Marshal Academy (VFMA). PWCS will conduct code-compliance fire inspections at all PWCS facilities. DFR will maintain PWCS inspection records. DFR will assist with the training of PWCS employees. DFR will act as a resource for Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code compliance interpretations. The self-inspection program assumes the role as the primary fire inspection agency for all schools in the PWCS Division. This approach is unique in that school employees, trained by the VFMA, take command of the responsibilities for fire safety and prevention in our schools.

Contact

Ronald D. Crowe
Director, Office of Risk Management & Security Services
crowerd@pwcs.edu
703.791.7211


Promoting School, Family, and Community

Categories: Covington City | 2017

Open House, Back to School Night, Fall School Spruce Up, Jump Rope for Heart for the American Heart Association, a visit by the Covington Fire Department and the local Arts Council, Edgemont Carnival, School Lunch Week, Red Ribbon Week, Bully Prevention Month, our Veteran’s Day program, American Education Week Dress-Up Days, Polar Express Night, Breakfast with Santa, Christmas Mother visit and donations, production by the Jeter-Watson Chorus; Santa’s Holiday Show, and our visit by the Covington High School Book Club, Mickey’s Christmas Carol. We also celebrated Black History Month, Read Across America, the Scholastic Book Fair, School Bus Driver Appreciation Week, Volunteer Week, Administrative Professionals Day, National Teacher Appreciation Week, School Nurse and Custodial Staff Appreciation Week, and Field Day.

Contact

Cynthia H. Morgan
Principal
cmorgan@alleghany.k12.va.us
540-965-1420


Providence ES STEAM Lab

Categories: Fairfax County | 2017

In the Providence STEAM Lab, students use Innovator Skills, which are 21st Century Skills (based on Tony Wagner’s Creating Innovators) as they work through the Engineering Design Process. Students work collaboratively in teams and use critical and creative thinking skills to solve problems they are presented with. As they work through the process, students cooperate to come up with a team plan, create and test their solutions, reflect on data and use of Innovator Skills, and improve designs. The program is designed to teach students to persevere through possible failure, and to view it as an opportunity for further learning. Engineering is the vehicle through which Innovator Skills are taught. The ultimate goal is to transfer these skills into students’ everyday lives at school and at home. Through student and teacher surveys, Providence has noticed an increase in the use of Innovator Skill language and effective application of these skills.

Contact

Diana Schmiesing
STEAM Lab Teachers
DSchmiesing@fcps.edu
703-460-4400


Ready For Success

Categories: Pittsylvania County | 2017

Pittsylvania County Schools partners with Smart Beginnings to implement the Ready for Success program located at the STEM Academy.  Ready for Success, which is supported by  The National Counseling Group, is an extensive behavior intervention program (Tier 3) for all K-5 students who exhibit significant behavior difficulties.

Contact

Ann Cassada
Assistant Superintendent for Support Services
ann.cassada@pcs.k12.va.us
(434) 432-2761


RICU – Reading Intensive Care Unit: A Tier 2 Intervention Using Jan Richardson’s Theory and Practice

Categories: Fairfax County | 2017

Springfield Estates (SEES) Literacy has successfully implemented the RICU Tier 2 intervention in Grades 1, 2, 4, and 5 with three years of data that supports the positive outcomes in measurable reading scores (DRA, SOL). This innovative approach to supporting struggling readers was designed by the Providence ES literacy team and shared with SEES in a collaborative outreach between the schools. Designed for 12 students for a period of time, the intervention moves groups of 3 struggling readers through four literacy stations based on Jan Richardson’s lesson plans. Jan Richardson provided PD for SEES staff, examined the RICU data, and has included the method and results in her keynote literacy speeches across the country. The results of RICU are strong and many schools are visiting SEES and Providence to see it in action – then adopting the model with great success.  

Contact

Ellen Lewis
Reading Teacher
eolewis@fcps.edu
703-241-5100


Road to School Desegregation Video Partnership

Categories: King George County | 2017

King George County Schools was pleased to partner with the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association in the commission of the video, The Road to School Desegregation. This video documents the historical significance of the opening of Ralph Bunche High School in King George County and was shown at a public preview at the September 26th School Board Meeting at the Dahlgren Campus of UMW. The video supports curriculum found in 6th grade U.S. History 1865 to Present, middle school Civics and high school End of Course U.S. History. Project coordinator, Claudette Jordon, worked closely with Kristine Hill, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction and other staff to help with the final product. The partnership with the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association has brought to life the historical events leading to integration in King George County Schools and has been a valuable resource for teachers and students in King George.

Contact

Kristine Hill
Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction
khill@kgcs.k12.va.us
540-775-8615


RVA Future Centers

Categories: Richmond City | 2017

RVA Future Centers offer an exciting new opportunity aimed at increasing the number of Richmond Public Schools graduates accessing quality post-high school college and career opportunities, by providing a strong system of support, information, and assistance to RPS high school students. The long-term vision is to provide meaningful non-financial and financial support to all RPS high school students, before, during and after graduation, to bolster students’ long-term educational and economic success after high school. This is a collaborative initiative between the City of Richmond (via the Mayor’s Office of Community Wealth Building), Richmond Public Schools, and the Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation, where this initiative is based. Each of the five comprehensive high schools have an RVA Future Center staffed by a dedicated professional to create, organize, and implement career/college activities focused on student success beyond high school. In partnership with the RPS School Counseling Department, RVA Future C enters help to identify the gaps, determine metrics for success, and develop a coordinated plan for effective service delivery.  Long range impact will be to create a stream of qualified/educationally prepared talent for the Richmond workforce and improve the quality of life in the Richmond community by investing in future generations.  

Contact

Toria Howell
Program Manager
thowell@rvaschools.net
804.426.3795


Safe Routes to School

Categories: Rockingham County | 2017

Starting in the spring of 2016, Rockingham County Public Schools began a bicycle safety education program for grades K-8. As one of the only rural counties in the state of Virginia to receive Safe Routes to School funding, Rockingham County is focusing our SRTS efforts on bicycle and pedestrian education. The SRTS grant (managed by VDOT) allowed us to hire a part-time coordinator and purchase a fleet of bicycles for use in physical education classes. After two successful SRTS grant cycles, Rockingham County now has nearly 400 bicycles for use in elementary and middle schools. All middle schools now have a permanent fleet of bicycles. Our elementary schools share four pull-behind trailers that are each equipped with fifty bicycles. Combined with the lack of access to a properly functioning bicycle, many students would not learn to safely ride a bicycle without our new bicycle education program.

Contact

Scott Bojanich
Director of Support Services
sbojanich@rockingham.k12.va.us
(540) 564-3238


School Improvement and the Comprehensive Instructional Program

Categories: Wise County | 2017

During the 2014-2015 school year, several public school divisions in Region VII formed the Comprehensive Instructional Program (CIP) consortium to collaborate in the areas of instructional materials, assessment, and data in order to realize positive outcomes for students.  The CIP was officially implemented during the 2015-2016 school year.  The divisions that made most use of the CIP realized a greater aggregate gain in SOL pass rates in Math, Reading, Writing, History, and Science than any other region in the state.  These divisions in aggregate also boast a higher rate of schools that are fully accredited than any other region.  Since the inception of the CIP, other public school divisions from across the state have joined the consortium.  The CIP is currently the collaborative efforts of twenty eight divisions in Virginia.

Contact

Matt Hurt
Director of the Comprehensive Instructional Program
mhurt@wisek12.org
2768703535


Scientific Equipment Donation Program

Categories: Prince William County | 2017

Science and technology training for students across PWCS is getting a big boost from a $300,000 product donation of scientific equipment and supplies by Prince William County based and family-owned business, C & A Scientific. C & A Scientific has been located in Manassas for over 20 years. The contribution provides brand-new lab equipment, experimental kits, and microscopes from their science educational brands My First Lab® and Premiere®, supporting inquiry based Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education. Students will get access to costly learning tools that were previously unavailable or in short supply, due to tight school budgets. C & A Scientific is also providing professional development on using the equipment, allowing teachers to make the most of these resources. Engaging students in STEM topics opens doors to educational and career opportunities. Careers in STEM fields are vital for economic growth in Prince William County and around the world.

Contact

Sharon Henry
Director of SPARK the Education Foundation for PWCS and Supervisor of the Office of Community and Business Engagement
henrysw@pwcs.edu
703.791.8002


Social Emotional Learning

Categories: Chesterfield County | 2017

Social Emotional Learning is an initiative at Ecoff Elementary uses that provides a framework for students to build upon five competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making and positive relationship skills. Components include daily class meetings to build community, home activities to engage families and cross-age buddies to create service learning leadership opportunities.  Ecoff piloted the Caring School Community curriculum during the 2015-16 school year and fully implemented SEL in 2016-17. All staff members, bus drivers, custodians, parents and partners were trained. Over the past two years, student achievement has increased in math SOLs (68% to 83%) and reading SOLs (69% to 85%). Total suspensions decreased from 56 to 5.  This initiative supports educating the whole child and enhances classroom learning environments. As well, the reduction of students’ emotional distress and conduct problems has increased their social interactions and behaviors to reflect a sense of empowerment in their lives.

Contact

Dr. Joshua Cole
Principal, Ecoff Elementary
joshua_cole@ccpsnet.net
(804) 768-6185 


South Hill Educational Excellence Partnership

Categories: Mecklenburg County | 2017

South Hill Educational Excellence Partnership (SHEEP) is a unique cooperation between South Hill Elementary School and South Hill Methodist Church to provide free after school wrap around services for children identified by the school staff based on academic and social needs.  Daily programming includes homework support, instructional follow-up, and soft skill development.  To date, every student participating has improved grades and received positive anecdotal confirmation from classroom teachers and school administrators.  The daily work of SHEEP is accomplished through the help of volunteers who come to SHEEP from multiple churches including the host church, South Hill United Methodist.  The volunteer base brings a variety of skill sets including those held by former and current educators.  Local businesses have been invited to partner with SHEEP by sharing ways in which their occupation relates to what the students are learning.  This partnership is important in fostering future employees and business owners.

Contact

Rev. Brian Siegle
Pastor, South Hill United Methodist Church
pastor@southhillumc.org


Stand By Me Community Mentoring Program

Categories: Staunton City | 2017

The Stand By Me Community Mentoring Program provides Staunton students with one-on-one (with local schools) and group mentoring opportunities (with other partners). Responsible adults help guide their mentee through the transition from middle to high school and from high school to college or employment. Mentors also provide support in improving school success or exploring future career opportunities. Stand By Me is different from most mentoring programs because we form partnerships with community organizations to ensure our mentoring relationships succeed. One student in particular, who participated in our Staunton Makerspace “Hands-On” program, spent time with his mentor building a flyable model airplane and learning about aeronautics. He expanded on this experience by attending a flight session at Blue Ridge Aviation and enrolling in a mechanics course at Valley Career and Technical Center. We’ve seen the same development in all our mentoring relationships over the past year, each with their own story.

Contact

Dr. Michael Ormsmith
Instructional Supervisor
mormsmit@staunton.k12.va.us
5403323920


STEAM Lab and Makerspace

Categories: Fluvanna County | 2017

In October 2016, Fluvanna County Public Schools partnered with The Rotary Foundation of Fluvanna County as well as The Rose Deborah Altschull Endowment for Youth to dedicate a STEAM Lab and Makerspace at West Central and Central Elementary Schools.  Our students at Central have been building designs with Keva Planks, learning about robots through the use of Ozobots and Cubelets, and before the end of the year will put that knowledge together to create a maze with the Keva Planks and code the Ozobots to travel through their maze.  Students have created their own weather productions, written jingles about their study of maps and Famous Americans using the Green Screen.  Through these hands-on activities, students have been able to apply their knowledge and gain deeper understanding.  Like true engineers, after we have tested our creation, we go back and redesign.  

Contact

Pam Loving
Instructional Technology Resource Teacher
ploving@apps.fluco.org
434-589-8318


STEM Capstone Fair

Categories: Rockingham County | 2017

On May 31st,  Rockingham County Public Schools will hold a district wide STEM Capstone Share Fair at James Madison University’s Festival Center.  Students will cap off their school year by sharing their personalized learning experiences, prototypes, or experiments with each other, business partners, STEM professionals, and community members.  Each student or group of students will create a project movie trailer, a tri-fold science fair board, and a final reflection analysis paper of their project.  The STEM Capstone project provides students the opportunity to synthesize their learning to investigate and design solutions for real-world problems of their choosing.  Throughout the project students will incorporate many 21st Century Skills in a real-world context including the application of creativity, innovation, and invention; problem solving; researching; gathering and analyzing data; and communicating with clarity and efficiency.  The STEM capstone fair will provide feedback, reflections, communication, and connections with their community and STEM professionals.

Contact

Tammy Stone
Coordinator of Science
tstone@rockingham.k12.va.us
(540) 564-3219


STEM in Our Schools

Categories: Henry County | 2017

Elementary students in Henry County Public Schools are integrating STEM into everyday activities and lessons, thanks to visits from the division’s new STEM coordinator. The coordinator is collaborating with media specialists to design and co-teach STEM lessons to ensure that students are experiencing enhanced maker space opportunities, learning to code, and using technology such as Osmos, LEGO We Do, Sphero, Lil Bits, and Raspberry Pi in curricular application. Media specialists are consulting with the coordinator to develop additional lessons and support core teachers in implementing STEM integration in all areas of the elementary school.

Contact

Phyllis Meade
STEM Coordinator
pmeade@henry.k12.va.us
276-634-4700


Student Generated Curriculum for Elective Credit

Categories: Governor's Schools, CTE Centers, Etc. | 2017

The MLWGS “Student Generated Curriculum” (SGC) is the MLWGS independent study process that is designed for rising seniors who have completed all of the course work offered at MLWGS in a discipline in which they have a special interest or talent. To be considered for a SGC, the student must have the recommendation of his or her counselor and the Department Chairperson and/or a teacher that the SGC is the appropriate learning opportunity for the student in the particular discipline. At the current time, teachers serve as advisors on a voluntary basis in addition to their scheduled teaching and sponsorship activities. Consequently, the number of students who may participate in a SGC in a given year is very limited. It is the student’s responsibility to create the SGC proposal with guidance from the Assistant Director, Curriculum and Instruction and the teacher advisor. Some SGC proposals may also include the involvement of a mentor within the professional community. The proposal must specify the time span over which the SCG will implemented (fall semester, spring semester, or year) and the amount of credit being requested (1/2 credit or 1 credit).

Contact

Dr. Wendy Taylor Ellis
Assistant Director
wellis@gsgis.k12.va.us
804-354-6800


Student Volunteer Exchange Program

Categories: Appomattox County | 2017

The Student Volunteer Exchange Program was created by the Appomattox 1865 Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service and AP U.S. History classes at Appomattox County High School for the Sesquicentennial of Lee’s surrender.  Starting in 2015 ten students have gone through over a hundred hour of training to become Park Guides at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park.   The students assist Rangers with historical interpretive programs.  During the program ACHS students have traveled to Washington D.C., Gettysburg, Harper’s Ferry, and other NPS sites in and around Virginia to work and train with Rangers.  The program's success has led it to expand to include students from other Social Studies classes who will be working on Civil War music programs, Living History, and research projects for the 152nd Anniversary in April, 2017.  Additionally, the program has led to employment opportunities for several of the students involved.

Contact

Joe Servis
History Teacher
jservis@Acpsweb.com
434-352-7146


Success Strategies for Life Program

Categories: Prince George County | 2017

The Success Strategies for Life Program is a program that was implemented at our alternative school, Prince George Education Center by Mr. Matt Hall. The program is designed to help students reach their fullest potential by teaching a variety of skills, to include; goal-setting, decision-making, career choices, college choices, test-taking strategies and social skills. Mr. Hall spends one hour every two weeks with our students (grades 6th-12th). During these sessions, he allows students to participate in a variety of activities that relate to the above subjects. We have had this program for 3 years now. Since then, our students have excelled in the classroom and on their standardized test scores. We have seen  dramtic improvement in student attendance and attitude. This is an extraordinary program that is designed for students that may need to be motivated due to external factors that affect their daily lives that  are outside of their control. This program has made a tremndous difference for the students at Prince George Education Center.   

Contact

Matt Hall
School Social Worker/Visiting Teacher
mhall@pgs.k12.va.us
804-733-2700


Teachers for Tomorrow Course—Building Our Future Teachers

Categories: Buena Vista City | 2017

Students in the program earn one college credit their junior year and three college credits their senior year. During their first year, students visit elementary classrooms several times each semester. During their senior year, they visit an assigned elementary class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the entire year. Students assist teachers with preparing instructional materials, reading to students, leading small groups and monitoring students on computers/ipads. This program not only provides high school students the opportunity to get hands on experience in their future careers, but it also provides elementary teachers (and students) additional classroom support.

Contact

Melissa Cobb
Teacher
melissa.cobb@bvcps.net
540-261-2127


Teaching and Learning Conference

Categories: Henry County | 2017

Henry County Public Schools dedicates two professional development days each school year (one in January, one in May) to hosting a Teaching and Learning Conference for its full-time staff. Teachers and administrators come together at one of the division's high schools to learn from local experts, hear from consultants, and participate in keynote sessions focused on equity in the classroom. This event allows teachers to collaborate with colleagues across the division and learn more about ways they can implement new ideas in their classrooms right away with the support of their peers. Having just completed the division's fourth conference, planners are noting marked improvement in classroom instruction based on anecdotal observations and student growth data in areas of focus from each conference.

Contact

Monica Hatchett
Director of Communications & Organizational Learning
mhatchet@henry.k12.va.us
276-634-4766